Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

Cegape or Strike the Kettle (Lakota, ca. 1841–?). Untitled painting, collected in 1893. North or South Dakota. 20/5176. Most large paintings of this kind focus on a single event, often a battle. This painting, made by a follower of Sitting Bull, shows warriors—figures on horseback carrying lances and shields—within the Lakota way of life. (National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian)

144 Years after the Battle of Little Bighorn, Lakota Values Endure

On June 25 and 26, 1876, warriors of the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho nations defeated Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer and the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry at the Battle of Little Bighorn. Americans have always remembered the battle. What we often forget are the difficult decisions tribal leaders made afterward to ensure the safety of their people. The values that guided them then—generosity, perseverance, bravery, and wisdom—continue to serve the Lakota people today.